Project Ara is an incredibly innovative initiative that came from a company called Phoneblocks, in conjunction with the Advanced Technologies and Projects team (ATAP). The main goal behind Project Ara was to create a modular smartphone with an open hardware platform to allow every manufacturer to create their own modules for the device. This initiative, allows the user to truly make a smartphone that fits them, with only the hardware he or she cares about. Want more battery? Just swap out a module and add an extra battery; Project Ara allows you to do that and much more. Unfortunately, the team behind the project has become somewhat secretive of what they are doing, only sending ambiguous messages and small details about the device’s development on Twitter. Today, some rather surprising news have arrived about the possibility of whole project returning to Motorola’s hands from those of Google. If this is indeed true, it would mean that the commercial release of Project Ara is unlikely to be coming any time soon.
Over the last few days, the Twitter account for Project Ara, has released a handful of details about the smartphone’s development, including a major delay in the device’s release due to an overall design problem. Most likely due to the modular device not being able to stay together after a small “drop test”, this means that the whole design must be changed, ditching the electropermanent magnets for a new “signature experience” which will better hold the modules in place. And as if this wasn’t enough of a delay for Project Ara, this new rumor, stating that the device’s development might have switched back from Google to Motorola is only likely to suggest a longer delay.
When Motorola was owned by Google, both companies worked together on Project Ara, but after just a relatively short time, Motorola was sold by Google to Lenovo for $2.9 billion; this led numerous tech enthusiasts wondering about the future of Project Ara. This ownership was established thanks to Google maintaining the all the device’s patents and the “Advanced Technology Group”. However, the new rumor suggests that Ara will be worked on in the Moto R&D base in Beijing. If the project has indeed moved again to Motorola’s command, it might cause the project to be delayed a bit more, as the company has to first acquaint its engineers with the development of Project Ara.